Clare Crane is someone you may or may not know, but along with her husband Loch, have been instrumental in the growth of the Challenged America program. Clare Crane passed away on June 17, 2011.
There are a number of wonderful stories that can be told about Clare Crane, some being most humorous, and knowing Clare for a dozen years, and her passion of the Challenged America program and what we do, goes far beyond what most would imagine … and the friendship developed with many in the program is a true reflection on her love for those involved with Challenged America.
On a personal note, I will always remember her phone calls to talk about the program; Clare’s mailing of news articles about someone with a disability we should reach out to or the stories related to fundraising or business she thought I should know about; the time they came to visit me in the hospital in Portland, Oregon, when I had a kidney transplant, opening of their home to others who came from out of town to work on the Challenged America Transpac boat, and the time she and Loch went to Vancouver, British Columbia, to watch Challenged America sailors compete in the Mobility Cup. There are just so many stories that I and others could mention about Clare Crane.
We all will miss Clare Crane, whether or not you knew her. Loch Crane, now a participant, continues to sail at Challenged America on a regular basis.
Loch and Clare Crane are “Founding Sponsors” of the Challenged America program. Thank you Clare for the love you have shared and given to all of us.
Clare Crane: historian, civic activist By Blanca Gonzalez (Sign on San Diego)
As a historian and teacher, Clare B. Crane had a lifelong interest in the past and the lessons it offers. As a civic-minded activist, she was also committed to advocating responsible planning and development for the future.
Although she dropped out of Wellesley College in the 1940s to marry, she would later earn several degrees in history, including a doctorate in 1971.
After settling in San Diego after World War II, she became involved in various community groups including the San Diego City Historical Society, the YWCA and Citizens Coordinate for Century 3. The Citizens Coordinate group, also known as C3, has been championing good urban planning since 1961.
She and her husband, longtime local architect Loch Crane, were also generous financial supporters of programs benefiting students, domestic abuse victims and people with disabilities.
Dr. Crane died of cancer June 17. She was 85.
An outspoken opponent of projects that might nibble away at portions of Balboa Park, Dr. Crane was adept at rallying opinion and presenting planning ideas to the San Diego City Council and other groups, friends and colleagues said. “She was a brilliant person and had a wonderful academic background,” longtime friend Kay Porter said. “She was forward-looking and concerned about how San Diego was developing. She was extremely dedicated and very involved in civic affairs.”
Dr. Crane served on the boards of the YWCA, Save Our Heritage Organisation, C3, San Diego Independent Scholars and the Friends of Classics, a local group that encourages continued education and appreciation of classic literature and raises scholarship funds for San Diego State University students. Her involvement in the Classics group led her to fund classes at a local middle school to introduce students to Greek and Roman literature.
She and her husband, an avid sailor, also supported Challenged America, a nonprofit sailing program for people with physical and psychological disabilities, said Urban Miyares, founder of the program. “They were involved with the San Diego Yacht Club and heard about us, they became supporters and over the years their support grew,” he said. The Cranes bought several boats for the program, which introduces sailing to children and adults, including disabled veterans.
Dr. Crane was the first curator and education director for the Villa Montezuma, an elaborate Victorian that was operated as a museum by the Historical Society for many years. “Under her leadership, the Villa became a venue for artistic performances and a magnet for those interested in the Victorian era in San Diego,” said friend Patricia Fouquet. “Clare had many good friends and her home was always open to gatherings where stimulating conversation and lively arguments were the norm … She was the center of a large group of bright people who accomplished a lot.”
Although Dr. Crane’s interests were broad, the preservation of Balboa Park was a major focus for her, longtime friend Judy Swink said.
“She was committed to ensuring an informed populace,” Swink said. “She believed in the power of the individual and citizens as a group if we work together. She was an incredibly warm person who always saw the best in people.”
She was born in 1926 in Wisconsin to David and Elinor Bloodgood. She grew up in Milwaukee and met her future husband at Taliesin, the Wisconsin home, studio and architecture laboratory established by Frank Lloyd Wright. Loch Crane was serving an apprenticeship and she was participating in a summer fellowship program. The couple married in 1944 while Loch Crane was serving as a flight instructor in the Army Air Corps. She earned a bachelor’s degree in 1958 from what was then San Diego State College. She earned a master’s degree from the University of California Los Angeles in 1960 and earned a doctorate from UC San Diego in 1971. Dr. Crane taught at San Diego State, California Western University and at local community colleges.
She is survived by her husband, Loch of La Jolla; a son, Loch David Crane of Ocean Beach, who is a magician and frequent candidate for public office; and several nieces and nephews. A celebration of life is pending.